(Just a few thoughts from a student ministry paper) The landscape of student ministry has drastically changed over the years. Societal issues have plagued the church as a whole. A startling statistic on the family today is, “In 2003, 55.4% of men and 51.6% of women were married (down from 65.4% and 59.7%, respectively, in 1970)” (CPYU.org). The reality is that many college age students and singles are not getting married because they reject God’s ownership of marriage. Co-habitation is at an all time high, “69% of teens approve (30% disapprove) of living together before marriage from an online survey of 785 teens conducted in early 2004. Also, 49% of teens who attended religious services in the past week (86% for non-attenders) approve of cohabitation.” (CPYU.org).
The reality of many students as it relates to what is true is based on society’s actions and experiences. Postmodern thought of situational ethics has swept into the home and into the personal lives of students. Students desire the love and acceptance of a father and mother in their lives as they experience life. This quote states, “our role in a student’s spiritual development is helpful, but a parent’s role is crucial” (PDYM, 254). Including parents in the ministry is important to be able to know each student and minister to their life as a whole.
Students in today’s culture are looking for answers to their questions. Students grow up quickly and the most important time to reach them is while they are adolescents. This realization is a charge to the church to meet this important need of for reaching and discipling students.
It is important to show students the reality of the cross and the importance of accepting Christ as their Savior and building from that foundation into strong adults. A biblical understanding of Christ is the key ingredient that should consume the hearts and minds of students. Leadership must connect to students so they can find their source of purpose only in Christ.